Saturday, April 27, 2013

Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato Skins

Chipotle Chicken 
Sweet Potato Skins
My wonderful mother-in-law always posts delicious looking recipes on her refrigerator and every time I try one, it is on point. Spencer and I downed these so quickly and wished I had made more! Give them a try and you'll know what I mean.
Serves 6 as a side, or 3 as a main dish
3 medium sweet potatoes
2 cups shredded chicken (about 2 chicken breasts or 5 tenderloins, grilled and shredded)
4-5 cups spinach, steamed or sauteed 
3 tablespoons olive oil
juice from 1 lime
2 garlic clove, minced
3 whole chipotle peppers, finely chopped (I used the kind canned in Adobo sauce)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 heaping teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
dash of salt
1/2 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
chopped cilantro, for garnish
plain greek yogurt, for garnish

1. Bake sweet potatoes (see below).
2. Preheat oven to Broil on High
3. Combine olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chipotle peppers, oregano, cumin, chili powder, and salt.
4. Scrape the sweet potato flesh out of the peel (reserve for another recipe), leaving a medium layer so the peels stand up on their own. Brush skins with a little bit of the chipotle mixture and place side by side in baking dish. Broil 4-5 minutes (on middle rack) until beginning to crisp.
5. While skins are in oven, combine cooked spinach, chicken, and remaining chipotle mixture. Remove skins from oven and stuff them, top with cheddar cheese and place under broiler again for another 4-5 minutes. KEEP AN EYE ON THEM!
6. Serve with greek yogurt and chopped cilantro.

SWEET POTATOES {can be done up to 24 hours ahead of time}
Wash sweet potatoes and prick all over with a fork and cook in oven or microwave until fork tender >>Oven: preheat oven to 350 degrees, place on middle rack for 50-60 minutes. 
>>Microwave: wrap potatoes in clean dish towels, completely covered, and microwave on high 7-8 minutes. When sweet potatoes are fully cooked, either place in fridge (if this is done ahead of time) or cut in half and let cool before continuing because they will be HOT!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Feta-Cilantro Turkey Burgers

Feta-Cilantro Turkey Burgers
Turkey burgers have a bad reputation for being dry, flavorless, hockey pucks, but in my opinion ground turkey is practically designed for adding unique flavorful herbs, spices, seasonings, and flavors. With a little creativity you can transform your regular burger into a delicious surprise wrapped up in a toasty bun:)
Makes 2 burgers
1/2 lb lean ground turkey
1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp salt
dash of black pepper
2 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted
desired toppings (tomato, avocado, lettuce, cheese, onion, sprouts, condiments, etc.)

1. Gently mix together turkey, feta, cilantro, worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper with fingertips. Try not to overwork the meat, just distribute all ingredients evenly. Shape into 2 patties (not too thick or they will take forever to cook!).
2. Heat grill or stove-top griddle over medium heat, add patties and cook for about 3-5 minutes each side. Use meat thermometer to test the internal temperature of each burger (you want them to reach 165 degrees to be fully cooked). If you find the burgers are browning too much before the interior is fully cooked, put a lid over the pan.
3. Pile up your burgers with toppings onto your buns and serve with broiled sweet potato fries!

Quick and easy egg drop soup

4 servings

5 cups chicken broth (preferably low-sodium)
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground curry powder
2-3 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1/2 tsp fish sauce
5-10 drops hot sauce to taste (sriracha or favorite)
4-5 cups fresh spinach
2 eggs + 2 egg whites, well beaten
2 cups fresh or frozen sweet peas
salt and pepper, to taste

Optional garnishes:
Scallions, chopped
Crispy wonton strips

1. Combine broth, ginger, curry, soy, fish, and hot sauce in sauce pan over medium-high heat. 
2. Bring to a boil, then stir in spinach and cook until spinach begins to wilt.
3. Stir soup fast with one had and slowly pour in eggs with the other hand. The eggs will cook on contact with hot broth.
3. Add peas and let them warm for a few minutes, add any salt or pepper if needed, then serve!

It is easy to adapt this soup to ingredients you have on hand. Soba or rice noodles, mushrooms, cabbage, and other veggies would be delicious additions!

Tummy warming goodness...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

thai chicken and veggie pizza

thai chicken & veggie pizza
We LOVE thai food at our house. This pizza was inspired by that love and one of my very favorite salads {oriental chicken salad} found at Blue Lemon. I absolutely adore all these flavors together and it doesn't hurt that it looks beautiful as well. 
After eating this the other night Spencer said, "Do not forget to blog this one, I really don't want you to forget how to make it!"
-tortilla (or feel free to make this on your favorite pizza crust)
-sweet thai chili sauce 
-grilled chicken breast, shredded
-mixture of veggies, lightly grilled or sauteed (I used a combo of onion, zucchini, and mushrooms)
-shredded or fresh mozzarella
-toppings for after cooking: avocado, purple cabbage, cilantro, roasted/salted cashews or peanuts, limes for drizzle, extra sweet thai chili sauce for drizzling

1. preheat oven to broil on high (or to the specific temperature needed for your pizza crust)
2. spread 2-3 tablespoons chili sauce on tortilla, layer with chicken and veggies, and top with cheese
3. place under broiler for 5-7 minutes or until bubbly brown
4. cut up pizza and top with avocado, cabbage, cilantro, cashews or peanuts, lime juice, and extra chili sauce

Monday, March 4, 2013

sugar-free hot cocoa

<<< sugar-free hot cocoa >>>
three simple ingredients
vanilla milk
silk light vanilla soy milk
unsweetened cocoa powder
trader joe's
stevia in the raw
Usually I don't promote all those darn "sugar-free" drinks and foods. They trick everyone into thinking they are healthy and going to help with fitness and weight loss goals, but we all know it's a load of poop. They are typically filled with artificial sweeteners and chemicals, but my dear little Stevia (if found in the right natural/raw form) is something I've grown quite fond of for an occasional sweet treat. 
I have read a lot about how raw and unsweetened cocoa powder is FILLED with amazing health benefits for your heart, immune system, and so much more. But when paired with loads of sugar and bad fats, it almost counter-acts all the good elements of the cocoa powder. My version of hot cocoa is a great way to get a good dose of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals from cocoa without the sugar spike!
Try this method out and mess around with the ingredient ratios until you find your perfect combination! I use 1:1 ratio of milk to water, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, and 1 packet stevia. I like mine a little more "dark chocolatey"... 

southwestern salad with protein ranch

Southwestern Salad
<<< Protein Ranch >>>
I know the following words and lists look daunting but I PROMISE you that it is NOT difficult at all. This salad is guy friendly (Spencer ate it as a main dish and felt perfectly full afterwards... and said it was the best salad he'd ever had!), healthy, colorful, and delicious. Don't run away from this recipe just because it looks long and hard. It is easy easy easy and a lot of it can be done ahead of time. It takes like 5 minutes to throw everything together and you will love it!

 makes 2 large heaping salads
Roasted Vegetables *this can be done the day before or morning of*
-1 large sweet potato, cut into 1 inch chunks
-1 large green bell pepper, sliced
-1 teaspoon olive oil (or olive oil spray)
-seasonings: paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. combine chopped sweet potato, bell pepper, olive oil, and seasonings on non-stick baking sheet
3. roast in oven for 40-45 minutes or until peppers and potatoes are soft
4. store in refrigerator until ready to throw salad together

Protein Ranch Dressing *again, this part can be done ahead of time*
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried chives
2-4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon kefir or buttermilk (optional)

1. combine cottage cheese, garlic clove, onion powder, salt, pepper, 2 tablespoons water and kefir/buttermilk (if using)
2. blend until smooth, adding more water (1 tablespoon at a time) if mixture is too thick
3. add dill, parsley, and chives and blend for just a few more seconds

salad ingredients:
-red cabbage, sliced
-cherry tomatoes, sliced
-1 avocado, cut into chunks
-pepitas, raw or roasted
-lime wedges
-protein of choice (mine had grilled shrimp, Spencer had grilled chicken)

pile up salad ingredients, drizzle some dressing, squeeze fresh lime juice, and ENJOY!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

favorite kale salad

This salad is adapted from a Thanksgiving Day salad that my cousin brought to a family dinner one time. It is not the MOST requested salad at every dinner and event... and so easy and so good for you!

salad ingredients:

  • baby kale or 1-2 bunches kale, cut off stems (pictured: baby kale from Costco)
  • dried currants
  • sunflower seeds or pine nuts (pine nuts can be very expensive)
  • grated or shaved parmesan

dressing ingredients:

  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste


  1. whisk together salad dressing ingredients with a fork
  2. slowly pour over kale a little at a time, you may not need ALL the dressing, and toss to combine and massage into leaves (lemon will tenderize really tough kale leaves)
  3. top with currants, sunflower seeds, and parmesan